Close Menu

Top five natural wines from Chile

Chile may be best known for its big-brand Cabernets, not niche, non-interventionist “natural” wines – but that is changing.

Harvesting “wild” Pais at Bouchon Family Wines in Maule

As Chile-based Amanda Barnes writes in the September issue of the drinks business, the natural wine scene in Chile may be only just starting, but already, there is a “diverse” and “thrilling” range on offer.

Indeed, for Barnes, the rise of natural, or minimal intervention winemaking in Chile shouldn’t be seen so much as a new wave of original techniques, but a revival of old traditions, helped by the country’s climate – generally dry conditions and a lack of vineyard pests make it particularly suitable for a hands-off approach.

According to Barnes, the heart of this artisanal production lies in Bío Bío, Maule and Itata, where ancient vineyards are still ploughed by horses.

The challenge for Chile’s natural wine movement lies in a need to ship its wines long distances across the equator, which raises concerns about the stability of wines made with no added sulphur. However, as previously reported by db, Emiliana, which is Chile’s biggest organic wine producer, is attempting to produce the country’s first large-volume no-added sulphur wine for a European supermarket.

The additional costs of working organically are a further hurdle for Chile, whose wines carry an average FOB price of US$29/case.

But, despite such challenges, Barnes has identified five natural Chilean wines to try in the UK, which can be viewed over the following pages.

For the purposes of this list, natural wine has been defined as a product employing:

• Sustainably farmed, organic and/or biodynamic grapes (with or without certification)
• No foreign yeasts or bacteria in wine production
• No sugar or acid adjustments in wine production
• No new oak
• Minimal/no fining or filtration
• Minimal/no added sulphur in bottling

1. Teillery, Syrah

Amanda writes: “A no-added-sulphite Syrah with the bright fruit of Chile’s red wine heartland, Maipo.”

UK importer: Vintage Roots

2. Rogue Vine, Grand Itata Blanco

Amanda writes: “A textural white Muscat blend from Itata with fragrant, floral notes and a touch of spice.”

UK importer: Indigo Wine

3. J Bouchon, País Salvaje

Amanda writes: “A full-fruit, floral País made naturally with carbonic maceration. Drink it chilled.” You can read more about this wine, which is made from “wild” vines, here.

UK importer: Bancroft Wines

4. Louis-Antoine Luyt, Trequilemu Carignan

Amanda writes: “Luyt’s Carignan is grippy and earthy, but if you want something lighter try the Pinot Noir or the fruit-forward Cinsault.”

UK importer: Dynamic Vines





5. De Martino, Viejas Tinajas

Amanda writes: “Pick between the floral yet firm amber Muscat, or the wild and delicate Cinsault – both from Itata and aged in old clay tinajas.”

UK importer: Les Caves de Pyrene








It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No